Napoli needs to regain its form after having consecutive losses.
The Napolitani lost 3-0 to Juventus and 1-0 to Parma in the Serie A and also lost 3-1 to Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League. As a result, Rafa Benitez’s side is slipping in the scudetto challenge and risk elimination from the UCL.
Here are some things Napoli could consider doing to return to winning ways:
- Benitez should consider cutting down on his squad rotations. He does have depth in midfield and Napoli has many games to play this season but the team needs to maintain an identity and a style of play
- Napoli is an excellent counter-attacking team but it isn’t as effective when it has to control the play. The Partenopei are slower when they have to keep possession and the fast players on the team suffer because they haven’t got space
- Benitez is an advocate of the 4-2-3-1 formation but he can’t expect every player on his roster to quickly fit into his system. Players have their own distinctive characteristics and the central position in the attacking midfield trio illustrates that. Blerim Dzemaili is a fine midfielder but he is no match for Marek Hamsik
- Dzemaili is a decent passer and he can score some great goals from long range but Hamsik has better passing, more stamina, more pace, greater versatility and he is a much more prolific scorer from midfield
- Goran Pandev is a talented player but he isn’t the ideal trequartista or lone striker. He is best suited to playing on the left-wing. Perhaps Rafa is trying to find roles for Pandev for the sake of it. Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne are more convenient options on the left-wing now
- selling Pandev on wouldn’t be a bad idea. If Gonzalo Higuain doesn’t play as a lone striker, Duvan Zapata should be given a chance and Eduardo Vargas was rumoured to return. How will Pandev fit in and be effective?
- the full-backs are too attacking for a back four. Christian Maggio and Pablo Armero are more suited to Walter Mazzarri’s tactics because they were essentially wing-backs placed in the midfield
Napoli is expected to make some changes in January. Benitez is looking for more options in defence, particularly in the centre and he is also looking for another defensive midfielder. Those options might be useful, especially with full-backs like Maggio and Armero in the team.